Patience and Fortitude wait outside. Still.
Who takes a tour of a library? Tourists? Bibliophiles?
Polished marble, dark wood, vaulted ceilings.
Shelves lining walls. Tomes packing shelves
We walk through noncirculating corridors.
The man leading us with his Ben Stein voice
Brings us to the periodicals room, where
One can read newspapers or other journals from
Time to time. Periodically.
I take a picture of Reilly underneath
A painting of the Hearst Building
About freedom of speech.
Somewhere near the history hall or the Great Reading Room
A woman from France talks about how the Google Maps team
Can’t take pictures of her street.
I want to parler but
The tour runs long and
Unlike the books here I am
Checked out. But the tour ends eventually and we go down
Into the Children’s Library and take pictures by original
Winnie the Pooh dolls that came from the 53rd Street branch.
The now-closed Donnell Library Center.
Basement smells like kids and mildew
Waft us back onto the main floor.
We come out of revolving doors
Onto descending stairs and in front
Of those steady lions waiting
To devour us
Other triumphant victims,